Gender Equality and Women’s Agency

Gender justice is central to Oxfam’s work in Vietnam. 

We aim to embrace diversity and ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic and public life.

We aim for inclusive growth and women achieving equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to ownership and control over land and other forms of property, financial services, inheritance and natural resources, in accordance with national laws.

Current situation

Despite a strong legal framework on gender equality, women in Vietnam continue to experience discrimination and stereotyping and often lack economic and political opportunities at the household, community and national levels. More than half of married women have experienced physical, emotional or sexual domestic violence, and the bulk of unpaid care and household work is taken care of by women. Many women do not have an equal voice in decisions that affect their lives, and there are few female political leaders.

What we want to achieve

Our Gender Equality and Women’s Agency goal seeks for:

  • Vulnerable women will have enhanced equity in access to and benefits from economic opportunities, services, and resources
  • Changes in gender norms will be achieved that value and recognize the contribution of both men and women
  • Policy Engagement
  • Women's leadership: More women will take leadership roles in the economy, politics and society by advocating and investing in sustainable changes that support advancement of women in all spheres of life and in both private and public spaces to address inequalities and enlisting the support for both women and men. 

How we achieve it

We conduct research on topics related to gender equality, discrimination and women’s leadership. The findings from this research inform our advocacy work to influence policy makers’ perceptions and behaviour concerning women’s rights. Multi-stakeholder campaigns and cooperation with media partners help to raise public awareness and change public perception on gender differences and women’s abilities, thereby increasing support for women’s rights.

We also strengthen civil society networks working on gender issues, linking gender inequality with other forms of inequality. We link Vietnamese civil society to international organisations and help to build a broad alliance in support of women’s rights. In addition, we facilitate cooperation and dialogue between government agencies and civil society, helping to raise the voice of women in policy discussions.

Oxfam uses gender-sensitive design and management tools in all of our projects. The Women Empowerment Mainstreaming, Advocacy and Networking (WEMAN) framework and the Gender Action Learning System (GALS) methodology, are used at the start of project analysis and throughout each project cycle. These tools, an improved form of participatory rural appraisal (PRA), are used separately with men and women to make explicit the imbalance in relationships and workload and reveal the barriers preventing women from truly participating and taking leadership. The WEMAN framework goes beyond promoting women’s agency to build understanding between men and women and work with mixed groups to look for consensus and collaboration. Oxfam’s interventions target changing attitudes and practices of men, as well as a broader public acknowledgment of the value of women’s contributions to equitable and inclusive development.

Our projects

Working together with our partners, we are implementing a number of projects focused on achieving women’s rights. These focus on:

  • Promoting women’s political leadership
  • Challenging gender stereotypes in the media
  • Integrating gender equality and women’s rights into our projects on economic empowerment and value chain development
  • Women rights and gender equality are mainstreamed in other programmes and projects

Our ongoing projects include: 

Publications and Stories 

Women’s work and COVID-19: Caring for care workers

Realising women’s rights towards gender equality, why is progress so slow?

Bất bình đẳng mang diện mạo người phụ nữ - The women’s face of inequality

Bình đẳng giới: Lợi thế cạnh tranh của doanh nghiệp - Gender equality: The competitive edge of business